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Five design features that actually promote productivity


The open-plan office has come a long way since its paranoia-inducing beginnings. What began as a way to expose slack workers has evolved into our current obsession with office spaces that not only facilitate but, increasingly, force collaboration between staff. Cubicles are dead. Shared desks, hot-desk pods and quirky breakout spaces are in (at the very least).

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Working theories


WHEN Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer announced the company’s recent ban on staff working from home in regular hours, she was attacked by business leaders, human resources experts, academics, environmentalists and feminists. Yet the heated argument that followed has highlighted a management issue well worth scrutinising: What working conditions deliver the most productivity? Is there only so far the seemingly inexorable trend towards “flexibility” can go before staff diffusion begins to damage a company’s internal coherence? Is the now widespread [...]

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Productive work: Engagement strategies that drive performance


Employee engagement is important at all levels of an organisation. Rewards, recognition and even a simple gesture can motivate staff and create a ‘thank you’ mentality . Some companies might find they need a process or a program in place to  facilitate and encourage people to say thank you.

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Fun in the workplace


  Developing a ‘comfortable’ workplace is one of the main objectives of workplace design. But what do we mean by comfort? Comfort is defined differently by diverse individuals, teams and organisations that are constantly changing. Contributing to the comfort of a workplace – at a psychosocial level – is the notion of ‘fun’.

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Work hard, play harder: Fun at work boosts creativity, productivity


  Imagine a 9 to 5 job where you don’t have to sit at a desk all day. Google employees are paid to play beach volleyball, go bowling or scale a climbing wall; activities that take place at the search engine’s main campus in California. At LinkedIn, employees can play foosball or ping-pong when they tire of answering emails. At Zynga, arcade games grace the hallways.

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Clean desk, cluttered debate


Tidy desk, tidy mind, or so the saying goes – but does forcing workers to clear everything away at the end of the day really make them more productive? While the clean sweep is flavour of the month at some large firms, it may have the reverse effect on creative types. Many won’t work as well if forced to do their thing in sterile or excessively tidy settings, warns organisational psychologist Julie West, principal of Workplace Research Associates.

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Future-Proofing the Office (Part 1)


This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on how to future proof your office. Work and the workplace are changing today, driven by globalization, shifting demographics, technological advances, and economic pressures, just to name a few causes. And no one sees that stopping anytime soon. More and more companies are asking themselves how to plan to ensure that they can meet the needs of the future without fully understanding what those needs might be.

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Enrich office space and see productivity rise


Employees who have control over the design and organisation of their personal workspace are happier, ealthier and up to 32%* more productive. This is according to chartered psychologist Dr Craig Knight from the University of Exeter in the UK whose research challenges accepted methods of office and care home management.

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